Gardening Magazine

Hollyhocks and Echinacea

By Ozhene @papaver
A couple of days ago I went along to the HPS Western Counties Daisy Day.  It was day for all things daisy (funnily enough).  There were talks from Bob Brown, Helen Picton and Rob Cole.  The morning of talks went very well and I was very good and resisted buying any plants in the sale.  We were due to go to Rob Cole's nursery, Meadow Farm, after lunch and I was saving my pennies.  Firstly though we adjourned to the pub for lunch.
Hollyhocks and echinacea So there I am, sitting the pub, sipping my glass of blackberry and elderflower Pimms (which was very good) and all I can see out of the window are hollyhocks.  Once lunch was over I decided I had to have a little explore.
Hollyhocks and echinacea The garden was fully of hollyhocks, there was a lawn for pub tables and some nice lavender edging, but overwhelmingly there were hollyhocks.
Hollyhocks and echinacea There was all sorts of colours and the place was alive with bees.
Hollyhocks and echinacea It was a great find and I really enjoyed my wander around the garden.
Then it was time to get to the nursery.
Hollyhocks and echinacea We walked into the garden and had that wow moment,
Hollyhocks and echinacea the garden was fantastic.  Beautifully laid out and beautifully maintained.
Hollyhocks and echinacea If you can look above the plants the sky was quite threatening, but thankfully held off through our visit.
Hollyhocks and echinacea There were nice touches everywhere like this wonderful bit of cloud pruning.
We had gone to see the nursery though and in particular the echinacea trials which Bob had told us about earlier.  He is experimenting with color breeding in echinacea and I was fascinated to see what the plants would look like.
Hollyhocks and echinacea There were rows and rows of echinacea.  The colours were wonderful, from white through red to orange and yellow.
Hollyhocks and echinacea The rest of the nursery was also beautifully maintained and laid out, the echinacea are a passion and a sideline, the main nursery sells many other plants.
Hollyhocks and echinacea This is the trial bed where Bob tries the plants in proper growing conditions as what he is looking for is good color and a good garden plant.  He also sells off the unwanted specimens, which are still good garden plants, but just not what he is looking for.
Hollyhocks and echinacea So I bought three,
Hollyhocks and echinacea well it was rude not to.
Hollyhocks and echinacea and an Aeonium Zwartkop also jumped into the bag.  I have been hankering after one for a while so I was not going to let the opportunity pass.
The day also involved a bit of plant swapping on the side.
Hollyhocks and echinacea so I also went home with a couple of trays of penstemons, peony seedlings, an agave plus other wonders.  It was a good day.

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